Party basics should be given a little pizzazz. Paper
plates, napkins, and plastic utensils and cups can be
presented in wicker baskets, clean flowerpots or even
a new wheelbarrow. Wild patterns or splashy colors
shout summer, whether indoors or out.
Picnic baskets are big in retro home-entertaining
decor. From wicker to nylon, their versatility is
unsurpassed. Used as carriers, they can be stocked
with wineglasses, napkins, cheese boards, spreaders,
cork pullers, plates and utensils. Placed on a table,
they make fabulous centerpieces mounded with
breads, fruits or drinks.
It’s time to throw open the doors and windows—
summer has arrived. The extraordinary nights of June,
the wealth of products in July and the golden light of
August become the perfect entertaining milieu. Activities
are transformed into parties: gardening into a garden
party, Father’s Day into a grilling fantasy, berry festivals
into Fourth of July specialties and beach-combing into
a shore picnic. That’s why an entertaining ambience,
both indoors and out, replete with comfort, simplicity,
relaxed informality and a wide variety of fresh seasonal
foods, is of utmost importance.
Impressive tables can be created by just shifting
pots of annuals from the deck, or foraging for additional
greens such as blackberry vines, dried weed pods or
pruned limbs to add to cut flowers.
Now is not the time to be stuck in the kitchen
preparing for a party. The summer beckons all,
even the cook.
Extend the indoors outside by purchasing
beautiful yet functional items that link the table
to your surroundings. Accents might include
wood, wicker, easy-to-launder tablecloths of
sunny yellow or romantic midnight blue, and
numerous flickering unscented votives.
Outdoor entertaining calls for serviceware
that is unbreakable, unsmashable, dishwasher
safe and of high quality.
Invest in extra folding tables and chairs, and
remember that it’s usually a long way from the
kitchen to the picnic table, so gather numerous
suitable platters, bowls and baskets.